The Hitching Post displayed along with their tasty ribs.

Taste of Marshall now celebrating 11th year

•Several local businesses participating Oct. 28

Tom and Sue Handeland, who own and operate the Hitching Post, are among several local businesses preparing for the 11th annual Taste of Marshall event to be held Oct. 28 at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

Taste of Marshall, which is hosted by the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce, will begin at 6 p.m. in the Conference Center Upper Level. Tom has owned Hitching Post since 2003 and has been participating in Taste of Marshall for seven years now.

He and Sue, a native of Minneota, were married in 2014.

This year’s event is sponsored by Reinhart Food Service. Corporate sponsors are: Avera Marshall, Bremer Bank, City of Marshall, Ralco Nutrition Inc., Southwest Minnesota State University, the tru Shrimp Company, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank.

The Hitching Post, a restaurant on Highway 59 that specializes in BBQ ribs, was named last year’s “Business of the Year”. The Hitching Post has also won several times in past years for “Best Food” and “Best Decorating”.

Approximately 400 people attended Taste of Marshall last year.

“It’s definitely an event that people enjoy as it is growing each year,” said Kayleigh Kontz, the Chamber of Commerce’s Events Coordinator. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door the night of the event.

“This allows you to sample unlimited items from each vendor table,” said Kontz.

“There is no limit on how many samples you can take. This is a great way to see what every vendor has to offer and also for you to try some new food items that you may not otherwise try.”

Businesses who have signed up so far to offer public samples are: Applebees, Balaton Bay Golf Course, Bello Cucina, Brau Brothers, Columbia Imports, Culver’s, Hitching Post, Hy-Vee, Marshall Golf Club, Pizza Ranch, Shay’s Restaurant, Southwest Nutrition, Subway, Tall Grass Liquor, Main-Stay Café, and The Gym.

Taste of Marshall is held in conjunction with the Marshall Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting. “It states in the Chamber’s bylaws that the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce needs to host an annual meeting every year,” Kontz explained.

“We pair the annual meeting, which is a brief Chamber recap of the year, with the Taste of Marshall so that the annual meeting is more attractive for people to attend.”

The Hitching Post has not yet decided what foods they will be offering for samples at Taste of Marshall; preferring it be a surprise.

During Boxelder Bug Days in Minneota in early September, one of the grillers during the annual Smokin’ BBQ Cook-off was sponsored by Hitching Post.

A large Hitching Post banner behind the griller’s work station had many individuals attending the event thinking the restaurant was showcasing their ribs.

But eating establishments are not allowed to participate in the cook-off. Several of those tasting the ribs at the Smokin’ BBQ cook-off were confused and wondered if The Hitching Post had possibly changed its popular sauce recipe.

“All of our sauces are made from scratch,” Sue said. “And Tom’s recipe has been used for more than 35 years.”

Tom and Sue Handeland posed with the award they received for being The Business of the Year in 2018.

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